Welcome back to the blog!
Today we are talking about potty training!
And as first time mom, I had no idea, I mean literally zero knowledge on what to do in the beginning with potty training or what would even mark the beginning of our potty training journey with our little one. I’m grateful to have friends that have experience with this because sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. And you want to do it “right” without everything falling apart (or is that just me?)
It is my hope to provide you with some helpful tips to make the process easier for you and your child.
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I believe the first thing to do is know IF your child is ready to begin potty training in the first place. That means you may need to recognize some signs before beginning the process. I was not ready to begin potty training, but my child was. I had to get over the fact that I wasn’t ready and face it and work on it.
Signs your child may be ready to potty train
Your child shows an interest in learning to use the potty and wanting to be more independent. For example, he might show interest by asking questions if he sees a family member going to the bathroom.
Your child can understand and verbalize words about using the potty. For example, he might say “my diaper is dirty” or “I need to go pee pee.” He might even tell you he needs to go potty even if his diaper is already dirty or wet.
Your child can make the connection between having the urge to pee or poop and going to use the potty.
Your child can follow simple instructions and likes to copy your behavior, including bathroom habits.
Your child can keep his diaper dry for at least two hours.
Your child can get on the potty, stay on the potty long enough to pee or poop, and get off the potty.
- Your child can pull down his own diapers, training pants, or underwear.
Has your child been showing any signs (not just the ones above) that may indicate they are ready to start potty training?
How we started
Our potty training journey officially came about because our child began taking off her pamper while in her crib. I say officially because the potty wasn’t 100% a new thing to her when we started, plus she knew what a potty was, and had been on one numerous times when she attended daycare.
It was so unexpected honestly. I walked into her bedroom and was extremely confused when I didn’t see a pamper on her.I don’t know about you, but if I don’t see a pamper on a booty, I cringe. Where was the pamper? Did she hid it? I can’t remember but it was at that point we realized it was time to start potty training our 1.5 year old.
In addition to the instances above, we can relate with sign number 1 listed above. My daughter follows me everywhere so it was natural for her to follow me into the bathroom.
She noticed what I would do and I think that helped pique her curiosity and interest in potty training. She also began not liking how she felt when she was wet which also helped indicate that she may be ready but she was inconsistent with that so we had to look for other signs.
Let’s back up here so that I can be more transparent because I had to seek advice when I noticed that the pamper coming off in the crib was a “thing.”
I’m still laughing about it now because I cannot believe our 1.5 year old was snatching off pampers in her crib. The first person I asked was my bestie who worked in childcare for about 10 years. To me, she specializes in so much and I’m so grateful for her. Can you say life-saver! Had I not asked, I probably would not have realized she was ready to start potty training until later – when even more diapers would be hiding under a blanket in her crib, who knows!
We switched to pull-ups shortly after she began taking her own pull up off (now she hates pull-ups 😈 ). It was a long journey as you can tell – we started at 1.5 years and now she is 2.5. But, who cares, she knows how to go potty right?! You can’t control external events like COVID and being home with your child 24/7 and figuring it all out immediately. Give yourself some grace Mamas.
What I tried
When I first started potty training her at home (shed already had a little experience) it was when the pandemic first hit and I was working from home more (I was already working from home 10 days a month). I went on Pinterest and saw how one amazing mom potty trained her kid(s) in 3 days! But eh 3 days came and passed and it put a lot pressure on me. It would have been nice to potty train her in 3 days, but that’s too much for us.
We kind of winged the process while asking friends and family for advice which worked out well. That’s not to say there weren’t any tears (I cried lol) and accidents or messes on the journey. It was far from perfect and I am learning to accept and embrace that.
It was a lot of trial and error honestly. I tried:
- setting timers to signal when she would go to the potty again
- I tried putting her in panties more
- we watched shows about potty training
- singing songs to make potty training fun
- letting her go on her own
- reminding her to go verbally
- moved the potty into the room we were in
- praising and treats/rewards
- pull-ups for car rides and sleep only
Looking back in hindsight, I was inconsistent with the methods. I wouldn’t stick to one long enough to allow her to get used to it. And nonetheless there were accidents, messes, yelling and tears! From both of us.
We learned that cookies may not be the best reward with all the sugar lol. You would think it was a no brainer right?
One thing I did notice was that my daughter would go potty more when she had on panties versus when she had a on a pull-up. The pull-up became an escape for her to be lazy and I suppose I understand how it came about. She used a pull-up to sleep in for a while before we totally switched to underwear full-time. We also used this when we just didn’t feel up to cleaning up messes or were exhausted from other tasks. The late night blow outs were the best surprises! Or was it getting my foot pooped on? Hmm.
At age 2.5, we are super happy to have a potty trained toddler for the most part. We are still working on pausing play to go potty especially while outside because she gets so wrapped up/excited/distracted with fun that she doesn’t stop playing to go potty on her own. We are also working on her verbally saying when she has to go potty when we are not home and she’s been doing so good on car rides so far!
For now she “listens to her body and goes to the potty” like one of the characters Frannie from Word Party and we so happy and grateful to have a potty trained big girl!
Check out some of these posts for potty training tips! Some are from friends and some are from brands you’ve heard of or may love!
From my amazing Mom Group:
✨ Everyone needs to be on board with potty training! Not just one one parent or a few. If your child is visiting someone let them know this is what we are doing, are you on board? If not, the child may not need to visit during potty training if it’s not necessary. It’s super helpful and less stressful when everyone is on board and it could help the process run more smoothly and provide consistently for your child but just my perspective.
✨ Panty covers at night to help child realize they had an accident and keep everything else ok the bed dry 😀 ( I wish I knew this was a thing! Im glad we used was pull ups/panties and waterproof mattress pad though! Here’s a similar one.
✨ No liquids 2 hours before bed
✨Manual potty in their bedroom at night (wake child up at 12 & 4 to place them on potty at night)
✨Don’t don’t drinks (I’ve done this)
✨Rewards: pick out their own panties at the store, sticker chart, & praise them!
✨ Other ways to reward your child while potty training from KandooKids
✨From Parents.com: The Best Potty Training Tips from Experts and Parents
✨Pampers also offers helpful tips, you can read it here: 23 Potty Training Tips for Boys and Girls
How was your experience potty training your child? We want to know, leave a comment below!
Catch you in the next post!